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tv   [untitled]    November 26, 2012 3:00pm-3:30pm PST

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have questions of them. >> commissioner white? >> quick question that might be covered already. what happens if there is a brick an mortar vacancy and the new space comes in to be a restaurant and the mobile food truck already has a permit for that area? ? >> i believe that because the permit is already there, the permit would still be valid. i don't know if i am -- is that right? my aide andres power says i'm right. >> i see a lot of brick-and-mortar businesses are operating food trucks in the financial district where there seems to be an issue, i noticed one of the restaurants has their truck parked right behind their restaurant. how would that work? >> well, the same rules would apply. >> they would need to get permission from themselves? >> for example, a great
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restaurant in my district, casa indian eatery has a wonderful brick-and-mortar restaurant and food truck and trying to compartmentalize you are a food truck person and public school parent and brick-and-mortar restaurant. their truck is sometimes pulled up right in front of their restaurant. obviously they have given themselves permission. but i think we are seeing that more and more, that restaurants, food purveyors want to have different ways of doing whether it's a brick-and-mortar restaurant opening up a stand at a farmers market to sell food there or opening up a food truck and the key is really flexibility and understanding that food in 2012
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san francisco and america is not the same as it was in 1992 in terms of how people get their food and what people want. and the last thing that we want to do is say okay, this is the way it is now. and this is the way it has always been. and so therefore, cutting off new and innovative approaches to providing people with the food that they want. and so that is why we tried to strike a balance here to allow for innovation and new approaches, while still trying to be fair to those who have really invested in brick-and-mortar restaurants in our neighborhoods. >> great. any other questions? >> i would like to hear from the golden gate restaurant association and also the food truck operators before? >> i can tell you that they will be up in public comment. i can't speak for ggra. >> if we could get something
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from them. we want to do public comment right now. can we hear public comment on all three items or call them separate? >> you can call all three together. >> i would like to call public comment on items 9, 10 and 11. >> mr. president, public comment for three minutes? >> yes. >> [ [ reading speakers' names ] >> my name is jim angel yes, sir and i'm the owner of bacon bacon. i have lived in san francisco for almost 13 years. i own a house in san francisco. i am married and have two kids. prior to owning the food truck i was the general manager of e and o trades company in union square and before that,
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coyest's colleto restaurant. the food truck was one of those businesses that i could still do something i was passionate about, but be more flexibility with my hours. in the beginning i was at the restaurant all the time and not able to be home with my family. since i started the food truck i have also called a brick-and-mortar cavyes, with
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cafe in the upper haight. thank you for allowing me to speak. >> thank you. next speaker. >> my name is matt coan and run off the grid, the mobile food truck event company here in town. two years ago we started with one location fort means center and we run ten weekly sessions. we started to work with ten vendors, five trucks and five tents and now we work with over 100 trucks. they are small owner operated businesses and they are exactly the kind of businesses that this commission likes to encourage. so thank you for your support. i was involved with the initial legislation that resulted in the need for this revision. and i think one of the issues was transparency.
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and an idea of an element of certainty when you apply for the permit that the permit would allow you to operate and work and have confidence to be able to get to a place you can serve. and so i think the two elements that i would like to sort of bring up in this hearing-- by the way i would like to thank supervisor wiener's office for including me and the food truck operators in the conversation. i think he has done an exceptional job in trying to hear and listen to our concerns. if i can use the overhead projector. so when -- so the distance of 50' is not actually 50'. so when you think about, it's from the property line. it's not from the center of a
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restaurant. and so it's actually closer to 60' of a buffer zone. from our perspective, what that does and the map i'm going to show you here -- so the black is actually the available air area for use. all of the dots are existing restaurants and this by the way, as you can see is a 50' diameter. when you move, when you move to a 60' diameter, you can see it becomes much more concentrated and space becomes much more limited. so i think in terms of what the industry vendors are actually interested in is something much closer to a 33'
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distance. which looks more like that. this is 40'. so it's actually a little bit -- it shows a little bit more space than is available, but really it still leaves opportunity for areas. as you can see, certain areas that are highly dense with restaurants would be out of bounds. the other thing i wanted to bring up is the idea of parking. this permit has given people the right to be in a place, but it doesn't give them a right to get to it. there is no mechanism currently for a truck to be able to park. and i think that that is something that i hope you would consider as well. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> can i ask a follow-up question? >> yes. >> i need to clarify this 50' and what it actually means. so the legislation today defines it as from the property line of what to the property line of
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what? >> the legislation that you are looking at right now is from the outside boundaries of the facade of the restaurant. it's 50 feet from the very furthest point of the facade of the restaurant. >> okay. so you are saying that is tantamount to 60 feet or more? >> that has been, i think, from the considerations with the working group. it is off and on additional 20 feet, 10 feet on either side has been the assumption. >> so these maps that you created to show the difference in concentrations, did you physically measure these off and say this would be allowed with the 30' and won't be allowed with the 50' for all of that? because i see huge differences >> the maps that we created we went to sfdata and pull the information available to the public and take a distance of 50' versus 60'. so i think
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from our perspective, our main concern is in the horse trading of completing this legislation, that the difference of 10 feet makes a huge difference to the practical effects of the implementation of this law. >> all right, thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> i have mark caro. >> my name is mark caro the operational manager of indian truck and as supervisor wiener said we're a bricks and mortar in the castro and two food trucks. the current frustration that we have with the process is during the appeals the time limit on which they respond to yes or no on the appeal. we applied for i a time change at 25 2nd street and howard five months ago and told we would hear from the appeals
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process within six weeks and have yet to hear anything and with our communication with the dpw they say it's still up for discussion. and they won't really give us a clear answer. it's been really frustrating and affected our business dramatically from where we can operate. that is one thing. then other thing i wanted to touch upon. there is a big common misconception that many people in restaurant associations and in building management have been making about that food trucks are not healthy. that is a big misconception about what current food trucks are able to produce. we are an indian food truck, punjabi and half of our menu is vegetarian and vegan. very healthy for you. so i think they are just kind of slowing stones to knock us down. that has been a little upsetting. if you look at the true
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ethnicity of all healthy food that have come out of the food trucks from filipino, vietnamese and korean, it's a healthy option for people in san francisco that is really a food capital of this nation and it's really welcoming and something that people should be aware of. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker. >> good afternoon commissioners. my name is john kade the owner operator of the slider shack. i was born and raised in san francisco and i still live over on russian hill. the slider shack was born last year. this is my first attempt at a mall business. it's my first foray into the restaurant industry. you know, i applied with the dpw last november. that is when i started the permit process and i was given a hearing date in april.
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you know, i got my health and fire department permits granted in april of this year. and then my hearing went kind of went off without a hitch and i was granted permits by the dpw. unfortunately the permits were appealed bit rincon center group and lasted until august of this year. i think the point i'm trying to make here is from start to finish to get my permits in place was ten months. and as a small business owner it's such a long time. and i know there is a backlog of so many other things that the dpw deals with.
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it's just my hope that this new legislation will help streamline the process going forward, and really shorten that time period down for everyone. >> great thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> [ reading speakers' names ] >> hi commissioners i'm an owner and operator of tres tequila lounge. we have been open as a brick-and-mortar restaurant for seven years in the soma district by the ballpark. in restaurant years that is a substantial amount of time to be still making money. we attempted to open another brick-and-mortar restaurant a few years ago. it floated for a little while. and with the economy right now it was just too much for us to keep open. we were lucky to start a
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partnership with the giants and we operate within their walls during the baseball season, but that is also not year-round. that is six months a year. so we came up with the idea of opening up a food truck. the best thing for us in this idea is san francisco is a pretty small town when it really comes down to it and sometimes you can't actually sustain two of the same concepts within those parameters. so this is kind of like our half-business that allows us to expand our business, and also innovate our cuisine with things that maybe would not fly when people want to sit down and have some food. to add to that, we are not the -- i guess, typically greasy taco truck that most people think of. all of our food is sustainable, organic and local. and we do focus on healthy
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mexican cuisine instead of kind of what it's known for. anyways, thank you for listening to us today. >> thank you. >> oh, and we are members of the ggra as well. >> hello. my name is caribbean smith karen smith and i have been involved with this since the beginning before supervisor wiener got involved and he has done a great job. i have an email from boma, if i could read it for you. he wanted me to emphasize the unfairness of allowing one type of small business to use public property to compete for business against other small businesses many of whom have been pillars of the community for years. the intent of the original legislation was to bring wholesome and diverse food opportunities to underserved parts of the san francisco.
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did wasn't meant to harm existing establishments, but that is what is happening in the financial district aye 50' radius or 1/6th of an average city block is not enough of a buffer to protect our existing small restaurants, cafe and delis and shops. it doesn't matter if it's 60'. 300' to 50' and now they are trying to revise the ordinance from a 300-food radius to a property line of 50-feet. if you had a brick-and-mortar restaurant and you wanted to expand into an empty restaurant, woo you . would you go into that empty restaurant and establish a business selling sandwiches when there is an existing food truck outside?
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absolutely not. ken cleveland from boma is recommending -- sorry, i'm a little nervous. the golden gate restaurant association we do have a meeting set up 2:00 p.m. friday. 100 montgomery. i haven't been invited and i know there is a meeting scheduled and if you want to contact them and find out who is invited and what will be discussed, that would be great. when the ordinance was initially written, it really benefited the food truck owners. that is why scott wiener's office got involved and trying to amend it. the parking spaces, the trucks pull up into the parking spaces and no one is giving them tickets. they are there from 6:00 a.m.
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to 10:00. contractors are losing their loading zone spaces when they pay the city contractor license fees to park their trucks there. no one is enforcing it. very confusing. bacon bacon is healthy. the food has been an issue as well. it has not been discussed. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is phillip stephanie and i'm the owner cosmic american food event. i came here today just to say something really quick. i have a background in music, played in a touring rock and punk band for the last ten years. touring all over the united states, and i have seen how
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food trucks and food parks in cities like portland and austin have helped make these cities more colorful and diverse places for food and places for people to hang out, especially late-night. and my truck does a lot of late-night parking by our permits through dpw. and i would just like to see san francisco expand on this idea. that is all. thank you. >> great, thank you. >> next speaker. [ reading speakers' names ] >> welcome. >> good afternoon my name is william pills and i own hop san francisco. we are a business that is a little over 2.5 years old. currently we employ about 12 full-time people and up to two
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dozen seasonal and part-time people. we are a truck that is definitely interested in expanding, and we have been very apprehensive about expanding down into downtown with everything being kind of arbitrary, at least in our rule as to what the rules are and where the rules are going to be, et cetera. allowing this legislation or swinging it in our favor would allow us to maybe bring the other dozen on almost as full-time employees. and then i just wanted to ouch on [tao-ufp/] [tao-ufp/] touch on the subject of food. we tried to apply to the food
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truck, as much as possible. and i'm sorry i'm a little nervous. i guess that is all i have for you. >> great. thank you henry, president of the san francisco county of merchant as the association. we had a meeting last week and commissioner white was there. i love food trucks. i think they are great. i love their diversity. you get crepes and burgers, et cetera. i feel that there should be a 30-day notification, like planning does with other
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building issues, and i think we should have a 3 only' radius, 30-day notify case, so people can go ahead and courtroom with comments and then decide from there. i really appreciate by the way, what supervisor wiener has done to try to move this along. again, none of us are against these trucks. and i would like to see this continues until we have a meeting with supervisor wein because quite frankly, i think it's on the side of the food trucks and once again, i love them. i think they are great and i like what they do as far as providing work and employment and all sorts of stuff, but it's not good for the bricks and mortar people.
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so we really need to continue this. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon. i own a subway restaurant and 7-eleven. i'm one of the numerous brick-and-mortar restaurant owners in the city and we have contributed our fair share to the city's revenues over the years. unfortunately, under the current circumstances i am not planning to expand any further in the city. this is baffling for me. the idea of 300 feet was far too close for us and reducing it down to 50 feet, the size of this room, you could
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well-imagine in realistic terms what it's going to do to us. one place is $8,000 in rent and the other $10,000 in rent and i have 18 employees to take care of. there is already a very high concentration of brick-and-mortar restaurants, especially in the downtown district. and these food trucks do not attract any customers from outside the city. but they definitely dilute the overall business activity for us. commissioners, there are as many customer dollars being spent on food in the city each day. if a customer goes to a food truck, and spends a dollar, he is taking away the dollar worth of sales from us. i am not against them, but they can be very well placed in the underserved areas. my downtown street area has 39, i repeat 39 quick service
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restaurants operating and we have a plethora of applications coming. we had to go and fight them all. going back to the process, some people have stated it takes a long time for the permits to come and it's even more difficult for us. and and as far as investment, i have over $1.2 million invested in the two units here in the city. if i go under, my 18 employees go away. where deny go? where does my investment go? it's definitely not a good idea to have food trucks in very, very close proximity. i would see even 300 feet is what the original legislation stated was not good enough for us. and the way things are going over here, all i can see it's 100% in favor of the food trucks. which actually should not be. this is not what free enterprise stands for.
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free enterprise does not allow blatant oversubsidization of one section of the economy over another and over here, the city is pitching one section, clearly pitching one second, against the other. this is not what free enterprise stands for. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> amica connor. >> i have no other speaker cards. if there are any additional speakers you can line up on the side and we'll take you following the speaker. >> hello my name is amica, the owner of casa indian eatery, we have two food tricks. we did try and open a second restaurant as well and that didn't work out very well. so that is where the food trucks were born from. i am supportive of the balance,
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whatever you conclude on the radius. and i just wanted to give an insight on the practical side of running the trucks of it's a small business just like running the brick-and-mortar. the overheads are extremely high. you have to balance it about as to how many sales you can make. so i wouldn't say it's one business pitched against another business. i would also say that the practical side that matt was speaking to as to parking makes it an extremely difficult business. so often we have to spend a lot of extra labor dollars and spending people out early to reserve spots. also, it's a way for us to try to expand. we now have 35 employees, and are looking to open another brick-and-mortar. so i really do think they can work together mutually and not pitch against each other. i would request whilst making the decisions we look at the
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practical side of things authentic the time on permits and appeals and so on is extremely crushing to a business, to the point that we may be considering selling one of our trucks and it's kind of a up-and-down yo-yo as always with a small business. thank you. >> thank you. any other speakers? jessica lee. >> hi commissioners, my name is jessica and i'm a corporate attorney turned volunteer for off the grid. i am a recent -- i recently moved to san francisco and learned about off the grid and the food trucks, the booming food truck business here and felt very compelled to get involved and help out especially with the new legislation currently on the tabe >> one point i wanted to clarify, since it's been discussed today. this talk about the 300' radius. much as we certainly do appreciate supervisor wiener's office getting involved and putting insomuch work and